My thoughts on when to fwd, RT, re-post etc

This week has been a busy one for Bournemouth, hitting the headlines for a couple of the wrong reasons:

  1. The flash flooding
  2. The tragic loss of a red arrow at the airshow

We’ve also seen what has been dubbed as the “Schrodinger’s dictator” (conflicting reports of Gadaffi being alive and dead), which in a similar way closer to home also occurred with the red arrows pilot: some saying he was rescued alive by dog walkers, whilst others that he died on scene.

Add to this the false reports of riots doing the rounds on social networks and I felt a blog post was in order.

My thoughts in no particular order on when to RT / FWD or re-post:

  1. Please THINK before you post – it’s to easy to get caught up in the “first, first, first!” online culture.
  2. Forwarding unconfirmed rumors can become self-fulfilling (as I’m sure was partly the case with some riots around the UK). I saw (and due to past involvement in radio, started receiving phone calls!) a growth in rumors that the McDonalds in Bournemouth was on fire… having walked past it only 5 minutes earlier, I was quick to point out it most definitely was not to those asking me and subsequently onto twitter & Facebook.
    In the case of the pilot, whilst mainstream media was careful to state the situation of the pilot was unclear, many were saying he was alive – while I’m generally an optimist, imagine what his wife would of been going through if she’d been anxiously scouring the web for news…
  3. Consider the reliability of your sources – having a large number of followers does not necessarily make you either a reliable, or authoritative source – exhibit A: @queen_uk – a lot of people were RT’ing a post from a twitter account with a following in the ten of thousands, a quick look at it’s history made it clear it was a barely reliable (or literate!) source.
  4. Rule 32 of the internet: “Pics? or it didn’t happen” – if someone states something as fact, challenge them to provide proof, if in doubt don’t re-post or clearly label it as unconfirmed/unreliable.
  5. Use NSFW if the item you are forwarding is Not Safe For Work! (As a rule of thumb, if I wouldn’t share it with my mother, it’s NSFW).
  6. Remember not everyone loves: LOLcats / motivational saying / Jokes…

What would you add to the list?

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4 minutes of wisdom from Bill Morrow (Angels Den founder)

This week I went to South Coast Connections at the Queens Hotel and spa, where the guest speaker was Bill Morrow, founder of Angels Den.

After hearing the story of how he came to set up Angels Den he set out the five questions start-ups have to answer to secure funding from Angels, perhaps interesting is to hear where most fail; I wanted to share it with you so here it is:


Note: this recording was made off my phone so it’s not amazing… and yes, I did ask Bill if it was ok to post it online! (especially to share with the Startup-Meetup group on LinkedIn)

  1. What do you do?
  2. What is the pain in the marketplace that you solve?
  3. How do you solve that pain?
  4. How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors in the market place?
  5. How much money do you need? (& does the money you ask for show a relation to the valuation I put on your company?)

I especially liked his openness about failure, one for a future Failure Swapshop perhaps?

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The Failure Swapshop

The Failure Swapshop

I ran two sessions at #bcbomo3, one on ableton live and the other… The Failure Swapshop

Failure Swapshop moto

My aim for the session was to encourage people to celebrate their failures and share with the group the lessons they learned.

It went a bit like this:

“Hi, my name’s Luke, and I failed” (cue cheers + applause from the crowd)

“I did ___, it failed because of ___ and the lesson I learned was ___”

I kicked off the celebration of failure by talking about a start-up I worked on many years ago that lost its way and failed.

After a slow start, where people needed encouragement at first, the session really got going and more and more people opened up and shared business, personal and technical failures. Some were valuable life lessons, some… well… simply hilarious!

I wrote any lessons learned onto the white board (both sensible + silly):

Failure swapshop whiteboard scribblings

  • Stay on target (Stay focussed)
  • Don’t lie about your abilities (but if you already have, learn the thing you said you could do asap!)
  • Don’t trust:
    • Grown ups
    • Other people’s code
    • Your own code
    • Lotus Notes
    • Consultants
    • Programmers
    • Acronyms
  • Back ups = Good
  • Don’t get distracted by shiny things
  • Don’t think you know it all
  • Check for typos
  • Always check the box contents
  • Try a restart
  • Don’t try to be funny (the story behind this one was BRILLIANT, I won’t recount it here)
  • Don’t expose your dev server to the world
  • Ask for help
  • Failure can become a win

If you’d like to share your failure, please do add a comment below and tell us what happened and most importantly what you learned from your glorious failure.

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